NITS TO PICK
There are numerous misstatements in this article (“Whack-a-Speaker,” Nov. 28). Two in particular jump out. First, there was no “deep gridlock” last session-the House considered and passed significantly more bills in 2007 than in 2005 and 2003. Second, Denise Davis resigned on May 25, 2007 and gave a resignation letter to Craddick that same evening. She was not fired.
Will HartnettPosted at www.texasobserver.org
Rep. Hartnett is correct that House Parliamentarian Denise Davis was not fired. She resigned after Speaker Tom Craddick claimed the power to refuse to recognize a House member on a motion to vacate the chair. We regret the error. As for “deep gridlock,” the number of bills passed in a legislative session-many of which are inconsequential-does not necessarily indicate that the people’s business is being done. -The Editors
FOR FURTHER INVESTIGATION
I would be interested in an investigation of a version of what we political scientists call the “black threat” thesis (“The Latino Factor,” Nov. 28). That’s the notion that white voters in jurisdictions with large African-American populations tend to vote against black candidates in larger proportions than do white voters in jurisdictions with small black populations. The question here would be: Do white voters in jurisdictions with large concentrations of Hispanics tend to vote against Hispanic candidates in larger proportions than do white voters in jurisdictions with smaller Hispanic populations?
Stan Buchanan Posted at www.texasobserver.org
LIFE BEFORE DEATH
We must place a moratorium on the death penalty (“The Life Penalty,” Nov. 28). The most recent statistic I’ve seen is that we’re now averaging one exoneration every 14 days. These are primarily death row cases involving DNA. Since DNA is only applicable in about 15 percent of cases, the likely number of factually innocent people in prison is staggering. Estimates range from 0.5 percent to 12 percent. Even if it’s just 5 percent, that’s more than 100,000 prisoners in the U.S.
Lucy FrostPosted at www.texasobserver.org
Whatever happened to the adage, “Tis better to let a dozen guilty men go free than to convict an innocent person?” The next time I read about an innocent person being executed, I want to see a paragraph describing the execution of those responsible for the execution of the innocent.
Crooked lawyers, police, and those who give false identification should also pay with their lives. According to the Code of Hammurabi (“An eye for an eye”) it would be only fair. While it wouldn’t save an already executed person from wrongful execution, it might give pause to those who murder the innocent.
G. Curtis Hoskins, M.D.Cross Plains, Texas